The Baltimore Ravens earned their six win of the season with another dramatic comeback in Week 9. Their 34-31 overtime victory against the Vikings kept them atop the AFC North.
The wide receiver corps has developed into a major strength of the team. Marquise Brown powered the passing offense with 116 receiving yards and nine receptions on 12 targets while lining-up for 80 snaps (82%). On 65 snaps (66%), rookie Rashod Bateman produced four first downs among his five catches for 52 yards. Devin Duvernay saw 41 snaps (42%) and made a sensational touchdown grab, while Miles Boykin and James Proche contributed 13 and four snaps, respectively.
With Nick Boyle’s anticipated return delayed for another game, Mark Andrews led the tight end group with 77 snaps (79%). Andrews allowed a touchdown pass to slip through his grasp but managed to catch five of ten targets for 44 yards and three first downs. Fullback Patrick Ricard was heavily involved in the blocking scheme during his 61 snaps (62%) and also sparked the offense with three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown catch. Eric Tomlinson saw 34 snaps (35%), mostly as an extra blocker, and Josh Oliver saw the field for 12 plays.
The maligned running backs helped the Ravens dominate time of possession against the Vikings. On 13 carries and 57 snaps (58%), Devonta Freeman ran for 79 yards, including 40 after contact, and had a receiving touchdown. Le’Veon Bell took advantage of a tired defense to pick up 48 rushing yards and a score on 11 carries and 23 snaps (23%). Despite playing 18 snaps, Ty’Son Williams did not touch the ball.
Tyre Phillips, the starting right tackle replacement for Patrick Mekari, joined Alejandro Villaneuva, Ben Powers, Bradley Bozeman and Kevin Zeitler for all 98 offensive plays. And Trystan Colon served as an extra blocker for five snaps. While Powers was charged with two sacks allowed and Villanueva another, extra pass protectors and Lamar Jackson’s elusiveness enabled the Ravens to amass 500 net yards against Minnesota.
Defensive ironmen Marlon Humphrey and Chuck Clark lined-up for all 54 defensive snaps. Humphrey performed well overall, breaking up two passes but a miscommunication with Clark led to Justin Jefferson’s 50-yard touchdown. Anthony Averett also fared well during his 49 snaps, except for a questionable touchdown reception, he neutralized Adam Thielen. Tavon Young saw 25 snaps (46%) as the nickel corner while veteran Jimmy Smith surprisingly recorded just a single snap in Week 9.
Physical safety DeShon Elliott posted a pair of tackles for loss during 39 snaps (72%) before he was knocked out of the game with a season-ending injury. Rookie Brandon Stephens saw 18 snaps (33%) and Geno Stone was called upon in overtime for one defensive play. The Ravens may opt for a committee approach to replace Elliott on the backend.
Spearheading the outside linebackers with 42 snaps (78%), Tyus Bowser made a large impact with a pass breakup, tackle for loss and quarterback hit. Justin Houston notched three quarterbacks hits during his 34 snap (63%) opportunity. Odafe Oweh had a quiet 30 play (56%) outing and Jaylon Ferguson out snapped Pernell McPhee eight to three.
Josh Bynes continued to excel at middle linebacker. On 45 snaps (83%), the veteran journeyman made a team-leading eight solo tackles. Patrick Queen has played faster on the weak side and brought Dalvin Cook down for an impressive 8-yard loss in the fourth quarter. Queen managed 36 snaps (67%) and Chris Board chipped-in 22 passing down snaps (41%).
With Brandon Williams sidelined, nose tackle Justin Ellis matched Calais Campbell’s 40 snaps (74%) on the defensive line. Justin Madubuike was disruptive during his 30 snaps (56%), Broderick Washington was effective during his 18 snaps (33%) and Khalil McKenzie was elevated from the practice squad for five short yardage snaps. Overall, the shorthanded defensive line played admirably well.
Through eight games, the Ravens have fought through injuries, turnovers, mediocre blocking and porous defense. In a lackluster AFC, their in-game resiliency is reason for tremendous optimism.